The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) greatly appreciates the generosity of donors to our mission. As a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, LELDF is committed to responsible stewardship of our resources and to transparency in all our operations.
In accordance with standards and guidelines established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), our annual financial information is available on our website. When a LELDF activity includes both a fundraising element and one or more other elements, such as public educational information, it is referred to as a “joint activity,” and the related costs are referred to as “joint costs.” LELDF includes fundraising elements in its educational materials circulated to donors and the general public because it believes those who understand the LELDF mission will choose to support our work through public education. In accordance with our accountants’ and auditors’ guidance, we allocate the joint costs of a fundraising element in an appeal letter between fundraising and program costs, as provided for under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The allocation of the joint costs is disclosed in Note 10 of the audited financial statements and on page 13, and line 26 of IRS Form 990.
Discontinuing contact upon request policy
It is the policy of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) to discontinue contacting any person upon that person’s oral or written request directed to the organization, its professional fundraiser, or other agent. LELDF shall maintain a record of all requests by persons who indicate to HSP Direct, its professional fundraisers, and other agents, that they do not wish to be contacted by or on behalf of LELDF
This policy does not prohibit contact by LELDF that is solicited by a person or a person’s representative, even if the person or his/her representative have requested to be placed on the “do not contact” list. Contact by LELDF that is solicited by a person whose name appears on “do not contact” list shall be limited to providing a direct response to the person’s inquiry and shall not cause the person’s name to be removed from the “do not contact” list.
Upon a person’s (or a person’s authorized representative’s) request that LELDF discontinue further contacts, the person’s name and address will be promptly removed from LELDF’s (direct mail adviser) database or modified to ensure that no further contact is made with the person. LELDF will also take steps to ensure that the person’s name is removed from any external databases or records under LELDF control.
LELDF will maintain a record of all requests for discontinuance of contacts, effective with the adoption of this policy by LELDF’s board of directors. Oral requests will be recorded in writing by the staff of LELDF and maintained with the written requests. The records of persons who have made such a request will be maintained by LELDF to the extent necessary for legal or liability purposes.
The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund requires board members, committee members and employees to observe high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities, and all directors, committee members and employees to comply with all applicable laws and regulatory requirements.
LELDF seeks to have an “Open Door Policy” and encourages board members and employees to share their questions, concerns, suggestions or complaints regarding the LELDF and its operations with someone who can address them properly. In most cases, a board member or committee member should present his or her concerns to the Chairman of the Board. The Chairman is generally in the best position to address an employee’s area of concern. However, if a board member is not comfortable speaking with the Board Chairman or is not comfortable with the Board Chairman’s response, or if an employee is not comfortable speaking with the President or if the employee is not satisfied with the President’s response, the board member, committee member or employee is encouraged to speak with anyone on the Board whom the employee is comfortable in approaching, or to directly contact the LELDF’s outside legal counsel, whose contact information can be obtained from the President.
No board member, committee member or employee who in good faith reports a violation of a law or regulation requirement shall suffer harassment, retaliation or adverse employment consequence. An employee who retaliates against someone who has reported a violation in good faith is subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment. This Whistleblower Policy is intended to encourage and enable persons to raise serious concerns within LELDF prior to seeking resolution outside LELDF.
LELDF’s President, working with the Chairman of the Board, will act as LELDF’s Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer is responsible for investigating and resoliving all employee complaints and allegations concerning violations of the Principles and/or Code. The Board Chairman or his or her designee will take on the Compliance Officer role if the complaint involves the President. If the complaint involves both the President and Board Chairman, outside legal counsel will carry out the functions of the Compliance Officer.
Accounting and Auditing Matters
The Finance Committee of the Board of Directors shall address all reported concerns or complaints regarding corporate accounting practices, internal controls or auditing. The Compliance Officer shall immediately notify the Finance Committee of any such complain and work with the Committee until the matter is resolved.
Violations or suspected violations may be submitted on a confidential basis by the complainant or may be submitted anonymously. Reports of violations or suspected violations will be kept confidential to the extent possible, consistent with the need to conduct an adequate investigation.
Handling of Reported Violations
The Compliance Officer, or the person responsible for carrying out the Compliance Officer’s role with respect to a reported or suspected violation, will acknowledge receipt of the reported violation or suspended violation by writing a letter (or e-mail) to the complainant within five business days. All reports will be promptly investigated and appropriate corrective action will be taken if warranted by the investigation.
Conflicts of interest and disclosure of certain interests policy
This conflict of interest policy is designed to help directors, officers, and employees of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) identify situations that present potential conflicts of interest and to provide LELDF with a procedure, which, if observed, will allow a transaction to be treated s valid and binding even though a director, officer, or employee has or may have a conflict of interest with respect to the transaction.
Conflict of interest defined
For purposes of this policy, the following circumstances shall be deemed to create conflicts of interest:
- Outside Interests:
- A Contract or Transaction between LELDF and a Responsible Person or Family Member
- A Contract or Transaction between LELDF and an entity in which a Responsible Person or Family Member has a Material Financial Interest or of which such person is a director, officer, agent, associate, trustee, personal representative, receiver, guardian, custodian, conservator, or other legal representative
- Outside Activities:
- A Responsible Person competing with LELDF in the rendering of services or in any other Contract or Transaction with a third party
- Responsible Persons having a Material Financial Interest in; or serving as a director, officer, employee, agent, partner, association, trustee, personal representative, receiver, guardian, custodian, conservator, or other legal representative of, or consultant to; an entity or individual that competes with LELDF in the provision of services or in any other Contract or Transaction with a third party
- Gifts, Gratuities, and Entertainment: A Responsible Person accepting gifts, entertainment, or other favors from any individual or entity that:
- does or is seeking to do business with, or is a competitor of LELDF.
- has received, is receiving, or is seeking to receive a loan or grant, or to secure other financial commitments from LELDF
- is a charitable organization operating in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
- under circumstances where it might be inferred that such action was intended to influence or possibly would influence the Responsible Person in the performance of his or her duties. This does not preclude the acceptance of items of marginal or limited value or entertainment of marginal or limited value, which are unrelated to any particular transaction or activity of LELDF.
A "Conflict of Interest" is any circumstance described in Part 1.
A "Responsible Person" is any person serving as an officer, employee, or member of the Board of Directors of LELDF.
A "Family Member" is a spouse, domestic partner, parent, child or spouse of a child, brother, sister, or spouse of a brother or sister, of a Responsible Person.
A "Material Financial Interest" in a entity is a financial interest of any kind, which, in view of all the circumstances, is substantial enough that it would, or reasonably could, affect a Responsible Person's or Family Member's judgement with respect to transactions to which the entity is a party. This includes all forms of compensation.
- A "Contract or Transaction" is any agreement or relationship involving the sale or purchase of goods, services, or rights of any kind, the providing of receipt of a loan or grant, the establishment of any other type of pecuniary relationship, or review of a charitable organization by LELDF. The making of a gift to LELDF is not a Contract or Transaction.
Prior to board or committee action on a Contract or Transaction involving a Conflict of Interest, a director or committee member having a Conflict of Interest and who is in attendance at the meeting shall disclose all facts material to the Conflict of Interest. Such disclosure shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.
A director or committee member who plans not to attend a meeting at which he or she has reason to believe that the board or committee will act on a matter in which the person has a Conflict of Interest shall disclose to the chairman of the meeting all facts material to the Conflict of Interest. The chairman shall report the disclosure at the meeting and the disclosure shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.
A person who has a Conflict of Interest shall not participate in or be permitted to hear the board's or committee's discussion of the matter except to disclose material facts and to respond to questions. Such person shall not attempt to exert his or her personal influence with respect to the matter, either at or outside the meeting.
A person who has a Conflict of Interest with respect to a Contract or Transaction that will be voted on at a meeting shall not be counted in determining the presence of a quorum for purposes of the vote. The person having a Conflict of Interest may not vote on the Contract or Transaction and shall not be present in the meeting room when the vote is taken, unless the vote is by secret ballot. Such person's ineligibility to vote shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting. For purposes of the paragraph, a member of the Board of Directors of LELDF has a Conflict of Interest when he or she stands for election as an officer or for reelection as a member of the Board of Directors.
Responsible Persons who are not members of the Board of Directors of LELDF, or who have a Conflict of Interest with respect to a Contract or Transaction that is not the subject of Board or committee action, shall disclose to the chairman or the chairman's designee any Conflict of Interest that such Responsible Person has with respect to a Contract or Transaction. Such disclosure shall be made as soon as the Conflict of Interest is known to the Responsible Person. The Responsible Person shall refrain from any action that may affect LELDF's participation in such Contract or Transaction. In the event it is not entirely clear that a Conflict of Interest exists, the individual with the potential conflict shall disclose the circumstances to the chairman or the chairman's designee, who shall determine whether there exists a Conflict of Interest that is subject to this policy.
Each Responsible Person shall exercise care not to disclose confidential information acquired in connection with such status or information acquired in connection with such interests of LELDF. Furthermore, a Responsible Person shall not disclose or use information relating to the business of LELDF for the personal profit or advantage of the Responsible Person or a Family Member.
Review of Policy
- Each new Responsible Person shall be required to review a copy of this policy and to acknowledge in writing that he or she has done so.
- Each Responsible Person shall annually complete a disclosure form identifying any relationships, positions, or circumstances in which the Responsible Person is involved that he or she believes could contribute to a Conflict of Interest arising. Such relationships, positions, or circumstances might include service as a director of or consultant to a nonprofit organization, or ownership of a business that might provide goods or services to LELDF. Any such information regarding business interests of a Responsible Person or a Family Member shall be treated as confidential and shall generally be made available only to the chairman, the executive director, and any committee appointed to address Conflicts of Interest, except to the extent additional disclosure is necessary in connection with the implementation of the Policy.
Sexual harassment policy and procedures
The organization is committed to maintaining a work environment that encourages respect for the dignity of each individual. Sexual harassment is considered unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
While in some cases, individuals may make sexual comments or jokes or personal advances without intending harm, such action can be unwanted, threatening and perceived as harassment.
Sexual harassment is defined as any type of sexually-oriented conduct, whether intentional or not, that is unwelcome and either:
- is implied or stated to be a term or condition of employment or a factor in evaluating the individual's job performance, eligibility for promotion, or any other component of employment.
- interfere directly or indirectly with an individual's work performance by creating a hostile, offensive, or intimidating environment.
The following is a partial list of behavior, which will generally be considered sexual harassment if unwelcome:
- sexual jokes, language, or propositions
- written or oral abuse of sexual nature (e.g. sexually degrading or vulgar words used to describe an individual)
- the display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, magazines, posters, or cartoons
- comments about an individual's body, sexual orientation, sexual prowess, or sexual deficiencies
- asking questions about sexual conduct
- harassment constantly targeted at only one sex, even if the content of the verbal abuse is not sexual
- invading personal privacy inside or outside the workplace (e.g. harassing telephone calls)
- demanding sexual favors in exchange for favorable reviews, assignments, promotions, continued employment, or promises of the same.
- assault or coerced sexual acts
This sexual harassment policy covers all employees. The organization will not tolerate, condone or allow sexual harassment, whether engaged in by fellow employees, supervisors, clients or other non-employees who conduct business with us. We encourage reporting of all incidents of sexual harassment, regardless of who the offender may be or what their position is in the organization.
Whenever possible, employees who believe that they have been the subject of harassment should tell the person responsible that they find his/her behavior offensive and ask him/her to stop. The person who is the subject of the harassment may wish to ask a colleague to be present. If the alleged harasser continues or an employee is unable, for whatever reason, to confront the person carrying out the harassment, then the employee should do the following:
- Step One: An employee who has an inquiry regarding sexual harassment should contact the LELDF president. The president is obliged to act upon this information. If, however, the matter cannot be resolved informally or if it is impossible to approach the president (for example because the alleged harasser is the president) it should be referred to Step 2 of this procedure.
- Step Two: The complainant, or someone on his or her behalf, should put the complaint to the chairman of the board. Any complaint brought to the attention of the organization’s designees (president or chairman) will be promptly investigated in a confidential manner. Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation process (interview of complainant, alleged harasser and witnesses) to the extent practical and appropriate under the circumstances.
- Step Three: Upon completing the investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, the organization will communicate its findings and intended actions to the complaint and alleged harasser. If the investigation determines that harassment has occurred, the harasser will be subject to reprimand, a written record of the incident and appropriate disciplinary procedures, such as referral to counseling/training, withholding of a promotion, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, financial penalties, probation, termination, etc.
If the investigation determines that no sexual harassment has occurred, this finding will be communicated to the complainant in an appropriate sensitive manner.
The organization recognizes that false accusations of sexual harassment can have serious effects on innocent persons. If, after the investigation, it is clear that the complainant has maliciously or recklessly made a false accusation, the accuser will be subject to appropriate sanctions. In such an event, the organization will also take appropriate action to restore the reputation of the accused.
Records Retention and Destruction policy
The Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) take seriously its obligations to preserve information relating to litigation, audits, and investigations.
The information listed in the retention schedule below is intended as a guideline and may not contain all the records LELDF may be required to keep in the future. Questions regarding the retention of documents not listed in this chart should be directed to the organization's president.
From time to time, the president may issue a notice as a "legal hold," suspending the destruction of records due to pending, threatened, or otherwise reasonably foreseeable litigation, audits, government investigations, or similar proceedings. No records specified in any legal hold may be destroyed, even if the scheduled destruction date has passed, until the legal hold is withdrawn in writing by the president.
- Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation: Permanent
- Corporate Resolutions: Permanent
- Board Meeting Agendas and Minutes: Permanent
- Conflict of Interest Disclosure Forms: 4 Years
Finance and Administration
- Financial Statements (Audited): 7 Years
- Auditor Management Letters: 7 Years
- Payroll Records: 7 Years
- Check Register and Checks: 7 Years
- Bank Deposits and Statements: 7 Years
- Charts of Accounts: 7 Years
- General Ledgers and Journals (Includes Bank Reconciliations: 7 Years
- Investment Performance Reports: 7 Years
- Equipment Files and Maintenance Reports: 7 Years After Disposition
- Contracts and Agreements: 7 Years After All Obligations End
- Correspondence — General: 3 Years
- Policies — Occurrence Type: Permanent
- Policies — Claims-Made Type: Permanent
- Accident Reports: 7 Years
- Safety (OSHA) Reports: 7 Years
- Claims (After Settlement): 7 Years
- Group Disability Records: 7 Years After End of Benefits
- Deeds: Permanent
- Leases (Expired): 7 Years After All Obligations End
- Mortgages and Security Agreements: 7 Years After All Obligations End
- IRS Exemption Determination and Related Correspondence: Permanent
- IRS Form 990s: 7 Years
- Charitable Organizations Registration Statements: 7 Years
- Employee Personal Files: Permanent
- Retirement Plan Benefits (Plan Descriptions and Plan Documents): Permanent
- Employee Handbooks: Permanent
- Workers Compensation Claims (After Settlement): 7 Years
- Employee Orientation and Training Materials: 7 Years After Use Ends
- Employment Applications: 3 Years
- IRS Form I-9 (Store Separate From Personnel File): Greater of 1 Year After End of Service, or 3 Years
- Withholding Tax Statements: 7 Years
- Timecards: 3 Years
- Software Licenses and Support Agreements: 7 Years After All Obligations End
Electronic Documents and Records
Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents.
Therefore, any electronic files that fall into one of the document types on the above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time. If a user has sufficient reason to keep an e-mail message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder. Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.
The organization’s records will be stored in a safe, secure, and accessible
manner. Documents and financial files that are essential to keeping the organization operating in an emergency will be duplicated or backed up at least every week and maintained off-site.
The President is responsible for the ongoing process of identifying its records, which have met the required retention period, and overseeing their destruction. Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.
Document destruction will be suspended immediately, upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent. Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of the investigation.
Failure on the part of employees to follow this policy can result in possible civil and criminal sanctions against the Organization and its employees and possible disciplinary action against responsible individuals. The President and Board Chair will periodically review these procedures with legal counsel or the organization’s certified public accountant to ensure that they are in compliance with new or revised regulations.